"Nathan's Famous Hotdog Eating Contest"
While there are many traditions in celebrating the 4th of July, my family always looks forward to Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest!According to Major League Eating archives, the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Championship has occurred each July 4th in Coney Island, NY, since 1916, the year Nathan Handwerker opened the legendary restaurant. MLE, the governing body of all stomach-centric sport, sanctions the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Circuit and ensures the contests are judged professionally and that safety standards are in place at each event.
On a typical year, as many as 30,000 fans make the pilgrimage to Surf and Stillwell avenues to watch the event in person. The ESPN telecast of the contest routinely draws an audience of millions of viewers. An annual part of the event is the Nathan’s Famous donation of 100,000 Nathan’s Famous hot dogs to the Food Bank for New York City.
Last year, Joey Chestnut of Indianapolis, IN, set a new world record, consuming 75 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes to retain his championship title.
In the women's competition last year, Miki Sudo of Tampa, FL, broke the women’s world record and took first place, marking her seventh consecutive win by eating 48.5 hot dogs and buns. Larell Marie Mele came in second, with 18 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Sudo will not be competing this year. A total of 18 men and 10 women are expected to compete on July 4.
“The Nathan’s Famous contest is the crown jewel of the Fourth of July and stands as a beacon of freedom for all those who believe in American exceptionalism,” said George Shea of Major League Eating. “Joey Chestnut is a national treasure. The rock on which he stands is not a rock—it is the United States of America.”
Tune in for the fun on ESPN July 4th! The women’s competition begins at 11:00 am, while the men’s competition will start at 12:30 pm.